The swells under the life raft didn't cease in the two months I spent adrift. Their incessant, silent pattern haunts my dreams. A rumor of the tireless water passes under my feet occasionally, and I fall to the earth without warning. The salt smell like a partial vomit lingers in the deepest holds of my memory.
She was only deliverance from the hollow night for a few short moments. Taciturn, she tortured me until sundown, when the cold greedy air begged in breezes and my scorched hide cheaply released heat to its pleading. The detritus of the ship was only visible for a day, then the barren landscape of steel- that mental prison- was all that illumination ever did show.
I knew of gods who the crew offered their blood. I called upon them to take mine more rapidly, but I was dismayed at having enough to continue in a feverish stupor inside the gunwales. Ignoring the skin, blood came seeping through as a sweat and always blackly. It had no temperature. It had no sound. Commonly, I only knew of the hemorrhage vaguely, a stickiness matted through my hair, a crust underneath porous nails upon waking or a ferric spice at my lips. It seems to have passed now, though chronic pain has infested the holes of the liver, the stones in the kidney and the scars on my brain.
Where water is frozen and the sun stays low. Where among drifts of snow I may sleep. The ice is firm there and the sun bounces from its surface into space.
Who sent me to sea to find this disease?
I will know.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008